Karlie Lucas is a school crossing guard by day and a writer/artist by night.
A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, SCBWI, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.
Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.
When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.
She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally.
If you had 3 wishes, what would they be? A. More people to read my books, because I think they have a good message a lot of people need in this day and age. B. A life-time supply of Hershey’s Mint chocolate Chip cookie candy bars. They are the best! C. To actually own a house with enough space for all the kids I hope to have, along with a library/work area for me, a craft room, and a den/man cave for my hubby.
Where do you write? I typically write at my computer, which is currently in what should be the dining room but is more like my office. If not there, I write in a notebook wherever the mood hits me.
How long does it normally take you to write a novel? It depends on how cooperative my characters are, how many distractions I have going on, and how stressed I am. But I can usually get a rough draft for a novel-length book in about six months, though this is basing off of me having a full-time job on top of everything else.
What are your inspirations? My inspirations are probably a combination of authors who have come before me, such as J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. But I think my recently departed grandfather, on my dad’s side, is a great inspiration for reaching for your dreams.
What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it? The hardest part was finding the time to write. I worked full time when writing this so it was hard to balance that with being tired after work and wanting to write.
What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult? The drive, for me, is that I promised myself I’d do this. That and my husband likes it when I read him my stuff and he’s always asking if there’s more to read yet, so that helps a lot.
Emma Thomas hasn’t been home in years. Only back in Staunton for a few months, she plans to put her investigative reporter skills to use in exposing the trafficking group using her peaceful, idyllic hometown to move drugs. But when she stumbles onto more than drugs, bullets start flying and she has to ask the one person she left Virginia to avoid for help.
Detective Adam Marshall has been working this cartel case for months. On the precipice of breaking the organization wide open, he can’t believe the one woman he’d never been able to get over now holds the key to closing his case. His head warns him to steer clear, but his heart won’t let him walk away when Emma’s life is on the line.
Thrown together by chance after so many years, Adam and Emma work together to break the biggest case of both of their careers and heal some old wounds in the process. Falling in love wasn’t on the docket for either of them, but things don’t always go as planned.
·Can you remember if there was a moment when you decided you wanted to be a writer? Before I begin, I’d like to say thank you for having me here for a visit today. I am excited to connect with your readers and hope they enjoy our chat as well. Way back in my younger days I worked as a research assistant in a chemical engineering company. I spent all day, every day alone in my lab watching whatever mixture I had created that morning do its thing. Every hour, I recorded the temperature and pH for around six hours. I couldn’t leave it alone for any length of time because chemistry unattended chemistry experiments can often go very, very wrong! One day, as I sat on my stool watching the mixer spin, I starting brainstorming an idea for a murder mystery. I jotted the ideas down on a legal pad and before I knew what was happening, it had become a chapter. Every day I wrote on that legal pad and then at night, when my husband worked, I typed it up. Eventually that became my very first full length novel. It has never been seen by anyone but I still have it.
·What inspired you to write your first book? My absolute favorite kind of story is mystery/suspense with at least a touch of romantic tension. I also studied forensic science and criminalistics in graduate school so when I decided to write the first book, it was only natural there would be a serial killer in it. I can’t say I was inspired to write a certain book, since the process sort of evolved out of too much time on my hands but the genre most definitely came from my interests in all things crime investigation.
·How did it feel to finish your first book to a publisher? What was the most terrifying thing about submitting your first book? I’d been writing for several years prior to subbing to a publisher. I had self-published a couple of books before self-publishing became a real thing. The idea of an actual publisher came about when I received an email newsletter listing several small presses that didn’t require an agent. I’d just finished a romantic suspense book titled Witness Protection whim and a prayer I sent it off to one of them. The most terrifying part of it was having someone that wasn’t a friend or family member actually read my book and make a decision on whether or not other people would pay to read it. Until this point, writing had been a hobby and stress reliever. When I received that acceptance email for the first time…well, there are no words to accurately describe the feeling. Now, three publishers and a dozen books later, I still get that same feeling.
·Was it easy to tell your friends and family that you were writing romance? What was their reaction? Well, my sisters assumed I wrote porn and my mom was afraid for my soul because sex is a sin… I’m totally serious! It took them all a while to realize that there are so many levels to romance and that there is so much more to it than sex. My books don’t tend to be overly sexy, I sort of let the story and the characters decide but I like happy endings. Romance is about love and support and feeling cherished. Sex is just the cherry on top.
·Is it still just as exciting to have a book accepted? Why do you think that is? Yesterday I received the box of paperbacks of Murder on The Mountain. It was just as exciting to see my name on a book cover and my story on the pages as it was the very first time. The novelty never wears off and I have no idea why.
·If you were going to prepare a meal for the man / woman of your dreams, what would it be? I cook for the man of my dreams every single day. We just celebrated our twentieth anniversary a couple of days ago and I’d do it all again. Our favorite meal to share is steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms, baked potato and salad. I didn’t even know I liked steak until we were dating and he cooked me dinner one night. And I had absolutely no idea how to cook it properly. He’s a good man because he has never once complained about a botched meal ever, even when I knew how bad it was.
·If you were given one wish, what would you do with it? (No, you can’t cure diseases or solve world peace… but for the rest… go nuts). You know that meme that circulates every so often that asks if you could have an hour to sit on a park bench with someone who would it be? That would be my wish. An hour with my parents to tell them about all the things that have happened since they passed away. When I lost my dad several years ago, it was heart breaking but I still had my mom. Now that they are both gone, I find myself hoping that I’m still making them proud.
·If you weren’t a writer, what other artistic outlet do you think you’d have? I used to play the violin. Maybe I’d play again. Or learn to play the guitar and piano finally. I’ve always wanted to do both. I’m not especially gifted in music but I did okay and miss my violin days sometimes.
·Do you have a secret skill that you canshare with us? I don’t have any super hero talents or anything like that but I really enjoy crocheting. I am self-taught and always have a couple projects going on at a time.
·If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? So, if I were to have a super power, I’d want the power to be able to teleport myself from place to place. Need a loaf of bread from the supermarket? Done. Have to go to the bathroom but don’t feel like walking there? Got it covered. The applications would be limitless!
Emma clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle the scream that tried to escape. The shooter looked toward the window. Had he heard her? She turned to run, her boots instead slipping on some leaves, sending her crashing to the ground. Heavy footsteps moved across the floor of the cabin, echoing in the quiet woods around her. Emma scrambled to her feet and ran for all she was worth, crashing through the brush, no longer even trying to be quiet. The door to the cabin slammed open as she sprinted for the pathway back down the mountain to her car. The air reverberated with the echo of several gunshots. Tiny hairs prickled on the back of her neck as a light whistling noise passed her ear. “Stop! I’m warning you! Stop or I’ll shoot you!” The man’s voice echoed off the trees but she kept running. It was a stupid thing to say, since he had already tried to shoot her. Her gut told her there was no way she’d get out of this alive if she stopped moving. Halfway down the mountain, Emma’s toe caught one of those roots again. The action sent her sprawling to the ground, and she began to roll down the mountain. Grabbing at branches and brush, she finally stopped herself and pulled her aching body up off the ground. Her knee burned where the fabric had torn and flesh had scraped against the ground. Footsteps and voices sounded behind her, but they were further away than she’d expected. Her little fall seemed to have given her an advantage. She pulled herself up, ignoring the pain in her injured knee, and ran as fast as she could. The sun had almost completely become lost below the treetops; the darkness made it hard for her to navigate. Finally, Emma burst out of the trees, gasping for air and sweating like a fiend. Her old car sat quietly, right where she’d left it. She dug in her pocket for the keys, but they were gone. She must have lost them on the way down! Running straight to the back of the car, Emma groped around up under the bumper. Her fingers grasped the small magnetic box and she pulled the hidden key out of its safe storage container, grateful her father had insisted on putting it there when she left for college. As she ran to the driver-side door, the back door window exploded beside her, covering her in tiny little pieces of glass. Yanking open the driver door, she jumped into the seat, slammed the door shut, and jammed the key into the ignition. Just as the engine turned over and she floored the gas pedal, the man from the cabin ran out of the woods. Her tires ground into the shoulder, spewing a cloud of rocks and dirt. Eventually, she gained control of her car and took off down the mountain roadway known as the Blue Ridge Parkway. Clutching the wheel, she prayed she’d stay on the road. All the way back to Staunton, she kept an eye on the rear-view mirror. When a dark-colored car came into view, she panicked, but it had a different shape than the one she’d seen and turned off a couple of exits later. As soon as Emma hit the Main Street exit, she drove straight through town. Twelve years she’d stayed away from Staunton, avoiding her hometown and missing her parents, to not have to do the very thing she was about to do. Emma took a deep breath and steered her car onto the street that housed the Staunton Police Department. She had no other choice. There was only one man who could help her figure this out.
Science teacher by day, writer and baseball mom by night, Carolyn LaRoche lives near the ocean with her husband, two boys, rescue puppy and four cats. She loves crocheting, books, food videos and trying new recipes.
Their friendship put him in harm’s way. Will it be enough to save him?
Across the dark water to the land of ancient Gaul, renegades take Cedwyn and the littl’uns farther from home and rescue. Led by her heart rather than her head and without any thought for her safety, fifteen-year-old Guinevere sets out alone to save Cedwyn. And if she fails…? Eleven-year-old Cedwyn’s trust in Guinevere is absolute. But will his sacrifice to save her and protect the littl’uns end with the loss of his own life?
Click on the covers below to find these books on your local Amazon page
I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds—Ancient Egypt, Medieval Wales, and coming soon, a hair-raising adventure through ancient worlds in search of 5 rare Phoenix Feathers. All of my books come with Free study guides and/or extensive Back-of-the-Book materials. My husband and I love to travel. In 2008, we spent three weeks in Egypt traveling by local train from one end of the country to the other; in 2014, we spent three weeks in the UK driving over 1700 miles through England, Wales, and Scotland; and in 2016, we spent a week in Iceland. We’ve also traveled to Mexico, Jamaica, and Aruba. Our next big adventure will be to Greece and Italy. When I’m not writing or traveling, our 4 grandkids keep us busy.
Courage is not a fleeting thing. It sucks what is deep inside you out, and feeds on fear. It wasn’t until he came to the last turn in the cave that he heard the voices at the entrance. He tried to remember if he’d covered their footprints. He couldn’t. By the time he’d gotten here, the pain in his side was unbearable. He inched closer, straining to hear the words. “…must be…” “I know…this far.” It sounded like Baard and Ulf, but he wasn’t sure. Whoever it was stood at the entrance. It sounded like they were trying to figure out if they’d come this way or another. “There’s no one…” “What about…blood…?” “We must of…the…”
Cedwyn froze against the rocks. He knew it was them now. Somewhere they’d found the blood trail. Bloody hell. He never looked for that. He hadn’t even realized he was bleeding until he was nearly here. Sweat broke out on his forehead. He wiped it off. His breathing came more rapid now. His chest hurt. If those two found them now, when they were so close to getting away…Squeezing his eyes shut, he concentrated on what he should do now. He had to know what was happening outside the cave. A flutter of wings and the sound of hands slapping clothing accompanied the curses of the two. “What the…?” “It’s just bats, Ulf. Don’t go crazy. We’ve just startled them.” “I hate bats. Nasty good for nothin’ creatures.” “Let’s go back a ways. See if we missed something.” “Right, those kids wouldn’t stay here. Those bats would’uv scared ‘em right out of their wits,” Ulf said. “Sure, Ulf. Like they did you.” Baard’s chuckle sounded faint. Cedwyn waited a moment and crept up to the corner. Holding his breath, he moved forward until he could peek around the edge. He saw…no one.
When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.
Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children and 3 in-law kids, eleven granddarlings, 5 cats, and many real and imaginary friends.
She is the author of five published books (and several unpublished ones) and is in two anthologies. You can find more about Monique and her works at: www.moniquebucheger.blogspot.com
Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, want to be sisters. Ginnie’s widowed dad plus Tillie’s divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie come up with the perfect scheme to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ (aka OSS). After all, if they can’t get Dad to move on, Tillie can’t move in.
There is a hidden treasure in the grand old mansion on Piccadilly Street, in a place called London, but not the real London of English fame. There’s also a lot of mystery and a murder that’s been unsolved for decades. But it’s the treasure that captures Mary’s interest.
Mary lives in this house along with her family, her Brownie friends and a ghost. When the ghost reveals her secret about the hidden treasure, there’s no stopping Mary, her Brownie friends, or her enemies from searching for this treasure.
Why the intrigue? Apparently there’s a little bit of magic connected to this treasure. And so the adventure begins. Who will find the treasure first?
Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.
She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca
“You have no idea what you have returned to.” Oisín did an about-face and resumed his tongue-lashing on his father. “The Brownie kingdom is on the point of extinction. With Penelope on the prowl, all the Brownie groups are grumbling and arguing amongst themselves. We may have a war on our hands in the near future. And all you can think about is whether or not I have the right to this kingship.”
With the mention of Penelope’s name, all ears perked up. Mary was the first to ask, “What do you mean, Penelope is on the prowl? I killed her in a ball of fire.”
“Ha!” Oisín snorted. “You cannot kill a Brownie with fire. Not a Brownie with her kind of power. She will be our downfall. Especially if she manages to get her hands on the ring.”
The author is giving away (3) $5 Amazon Gift Cards during this tour! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below as well as leaving a comment on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page. GOOD LUCK!
Welcome to Day 5 of the “JONAH” Blog Tour! And welcome to Room With Books!
More than anything, Jonah wanted off this island and back to his turf in the city. He’d already tried to swim the distance more than once. But he was forced to turn around or drown.
Despite the hardships, he still wanted to live.
He was familiar with physical strength. It was what he prided himself on. He knew how to use his wits, and fists. Because of that, he was the king of his turf. Everyone who crossed him learned to fear the “Wrath of Jonah.”
Never did he imagine that his ticket off this godforsaken island had nothing to do with brutal strength or agility.
Inside the first care package that was dropped from an unseen source, Jonah found two books and a note.
Here’s the scene:
In the bottom of the bag lay two books and a pencil, along with a handwritten note. He unfolded the parchment paper.
There is only one way off this island. You must examine yourself, face your truths and make peace with your demons.
Jonah folded the note back and lay it next to the bag. Biting off another piece of jerky, then carefully resealing the package, he opened the first book, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
“Be impeccable with your word,” he read aloud. He tossed the book into the farcorner of the hut. He didn’t need any philosophy BS.
He opened the second book. Finding only blank pages, he tossed it into the corner, as well.
He’d heard the psychological and philosophical jargon his entire life and none of it had helped him survive on the streets. None of it had helped when the leather strap landed repeatedly across his back, and none of it had put food in his belly when he was starving.
No. He’d made his way with his own strength,grit, and determination, and that wasn’t about to change now.
Running the brush through his hair, he pulled itback, thenducked out of the shelter into the early morning dawn. The most important thing he could do was keep his body strong and ready to fight. After all, it was what he did best. He stretched his taut muscles and began a series of Tai Chi maneuvers. Twirling and kicking, he landed in fighting stance. Yes, this was what worked for him, not religion, not psychobabble, and certainly not philosophy.
One thing is crystal clear ― Jonah has a lot to learn.
Fantasy meets reality when a young man is forced to choose his punishment for crimes committed. Jonah must decide between imprisonment in a concrete box beneath the earth or be exiled to a deserted, barren island. He chooses the island, but nothing can prepare him for the deadly creatures, and poisonous plants at every turn. Then there’s the maddening isolation that drives him to the brink of insanity. There is only one way off this island and it’s more difficult than anything he’s ever imagined. It’s much easier to face mortal danger than the demons within. Will Jonah find redemption, or another unexpected offer?
Jan Sikes openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way.
She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to bring the story full circle.
And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.
Thank you for supporting this author and her tour. To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page. If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.
Sandra Kindt is always up for a good story, written or verbal, although there is that cookbook she won in elementary school that hasn’t seen the light of day. But the times she’s been caught reading historical novels with a highlighter—because there’s always something to learn—should make up for that. After earning an MA in communication, she taught Organizational Behavior at several universities and Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in the corporate world. Her love of writing goes back to the journals she started in the fifth grade, when she fancied herself Nancy Drew. She loves to hang out with her four grown-up kids and six grandchildren. It’s like visiting the best parts of herself.
A mangy alley cat isn’t at the top of anybody’s adoption list. Nevertheless, when Grandma Sandy scoops it up into her arms, her heart nudges her to take it home, and she listens. Grandma always trusts her feelings.
Lots of tender care soon transforms the mangy cat into beautiful, round Chubbs. But when she loses her sight, will she listen to her feelings like Grandma and learn to trust the one who loves her most?
Chubbs: A Blind Cat learns to Trust is a faith-based, inspirational story about a cat who learns to trust her rescuer. The relationship between Chubbs and Grandma Sandy is a comparison to the relationship we each have with God. Literally blind, Chubbs must learn how to navigate her world just like figuratively blind, we must learn to depend on God’s Spirit to help us navigate our lives.
Why did you write a children’s book?
I wrote this story to share with my grandchildren and to introduce ideas that could be helpful in our noisy, confused world.
Have you always loved cats?
Definitely. When I was in the first grade, I came home from school and found my cat Calico wildly yowling. She was pregnant, but I didn’t connect the dots between her pain and her condition. I did what made me feel better when I had a stomachache. I took her inside and laid her on a heating pad in my bed. When she began howling again, my dad came in my room and scooped her up in his huge hands and took her to her own bed in the outside storage room. I followed them and watched with wonder as she birthed three kittens.
What things do you enjoy the most?
I love reading, writing, exploring family history, quilting, and photography. I used to take pictures of my children all the time when they were young. I also love matinee movies as long as there’s a lounger chair, Diet Coke, and popcorn.
How do you choose what to read or write?
True stories inspire me. Imagining myself in the story offers an experience I may never have otherwise. Chubbs’s story is true. Writing about life’s experiences from a spiritual perspective is important to me because I believe that spiritual life and daily life aren’t separate.
What are you good at?
Sewing and Quilting are in my bones. I began learning those skills when I was ten. Sitting on my Grandmother’s bed, I watched how she effortlessly completed a project that seemed too hard for me. I don’t have her patience. Quilting her way, by hand, did not work for me so I had to find a way to quilt with a sewing machine. My quilting style today is very therapeutic. It helps me focus. I’ve learned to follow directions, and I’ve learned much about life by painstakingly “ripping out” my mistakes and starting over.
That’s another thing I good at—being resilient. If I don’t succeed the first, or second, or seventh time, I rally the courage to try again.
I can do hard things. Life isn’t always comfortable or fun. But I know I am resourceful and determined when circumstances require me to be. And most of all, I know that I don’t have to do hard things by myself. God watches over me when things are hard, and I don’t know what to do.
How do you like to spend your time?
When I need something magical, I visit my darkroom where I can watch images emerge from a tray of chemicals.
To rediscover hope, I play with my grandchildren.
To deepen my faith, I study, pray, meditate, and serve. When I’m serving or studying, I’m reminded that my Heavenly Father is always with me.
If I feel cynical or lack trust, I resolve to be more trustworthy.
To escape, I read. I can transport myself into another time and place and imagine how I might carry on in another world.
There is a treasure hunt with the prizes being a $100 and $25 giveaway! The Treasure Hunt Questions will be based on the videos on the Author’s YouTube Channel and you can answer the questions and find the YouTube links in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature.
Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood. He also has a passion for caving, urban archaeology, taking pictures of clouds, and architecture. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their four dogs.
Mysterious and elusive, Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein calls from the ruins of her castle. She dwells in the dark, hiding her face, ravaged by an ancient curse. The only way to break the curse is to win a game called Perlamum. If she loses, she dies. She looks to her Vith kin in the west, begging for help acquiring the all-important pieces she needs to play the game. Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, his Ne-Countess Sammidoran, and his cousins answer her call. However, collecting the Perlamum pieces for Lady Bloodstein is a deadly game. They must face a host of perils: -The terrible Black Hat in the city of Waam who knows their every move. -A hated rival on the planet Xandarr and the bewildering labyrinth of Gods Temple. -The man from Shook who cannot be killed. -A family of vile bravos from the south. -The diabolical Dead Men of Mare, nigh invincible creatures straight from an insane nightmare. To even the odds, Kay and Sam turn to a forgotten graveyard deep in the Telmus Grove, and the great eminence resting there. Can Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein be helped, or, for that matter . . . . . . can she be trusted?
I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books
growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long
past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and
Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart
to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these
worlds—Ancient Egypt, Medieval Wales, and coming soon, a hair-raising adventure
through ancient worlds in search of 5 rare Phoenix Feathers.
All of my books come with Free study guides and/or extensive
My husband and I love to travel. In 2008, we spent three weeks in
Egypt traveling by local train from one end of the country to the other; in
2014, we spent three weeks in the UK driving over 1700 miles through England,
Wales, and Scotland; and in 2016, we spent a week in Iceland. We’ve also
traveled to Mexico, Jamaica, and Aruba. Our next big adventure will be to
Greece and Italy.
When I’m not writing or traveling, our 4 grandkids keep us busy.
Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the children are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.
The royal wedding approaches and the country is alive with anticipation.
Among the craftsmen traveling to the capital is Constance Rendare and her family. An artist, a widow of an unhappy marriage, and the mother of a young son, she dreams of escaping the cruel servitude of her father’s household. Wilard Naron serves the Earl of Dentin. He returns to the capital, his childhood home, to collect his earnings and finally free himself from his father’s reputation. Kidnappings, bandits, and a plot against the king complicate the journey. The conflicts throw Constance and Wilard together as their circumstances grow steadily worse. The more the pair uncovers, the direr the future looks for the country and for them.
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Constance’s point of view:
A servant opened the door before Dentin could answer my question. I didn’t turn to check who it was and they didn’t enter the room. I forced myself to breathe evenly. “A pitcher of water and glasses,” Dentin requested in calm, conversational tones. “Also, if you could locate Lady Dentin and let her know I require her presence in my book room.” Then the servant left, leaving the door slightly ajar. “What do you mean she isn’t well?” I demanded as the earl retreated to the opposite side of the table and claimed the chair there. He took his time arranging his overtunic and adjusting the position of his dagger. Clearly, he didn’t intend to answer me. “You can’t expect me not to ask after using such ominous wording,” I pointed out, my annoyance at his delay overriding my awareness of his station. “We were discussing my sister. Tell me the truth plainly or…” My brain faltered for a threat that would work, but none came to mind. Across the desk, Dentin had stopped fidgeting and now regarded me with blatant amusement. “Don’t laugh at me,” I protested, torn between laughter and tears myself. He cleared his throat. “I never laugh at people who threaten me.” “Even when they fail miserably at it?” I asked with a half smile. “Not even then.” He straightened in his seat as I became aware of movement behind me. “You summoned me, my lord?” Lady Elsa’s soft voice soothed my frustration. I would have an ally now. Dentin rose to his feet and came around the table to greet his wife. “Madam Rendare became overset, and I hoped your presence would help as we discuss the repercussions of my news.” Something passed between the countess and the earl I didn’t catch, but I did witness the earl’s attempt at an expression of complete innocence before he deposited her in a seat next to me. “What were you going to mention?” Elsa turned to me, and her expression melted into concern. “She is white as milk, Simon. What did you say?” Leaning over as best she could with her growing belly, she caught and held one of my hands in hers for a moment. She then frowned at her husband. “Explain.” “I am only trying to convince her she needs to focus on her sister’s welfare, not her father’s. She can do more in that area than any other.” “Simon…” The sound of gentle reproof in Elsa’s voice helped me quiet my frustration with her husband. “Tell her the full truth and let her decide for herself what to do. It is her decision, not yours.”